Sunday, November 10, 2013


I came home from a meeting one day recently to find my four girls in the exact same place I had left them two hours earlier:  on the couch, staring blankly at the television.  The house was a mess, with dishes piled around them on the end tables and evidence of food preparation in the kitchen.  But they?  They had turned into zombies, mindlessly shoving food into their mouths as they stared at the pretty lights on the screen.

"New Rule," I bellowed.  "No TV unless it is educational!"

Wanting the definition of educational television, I explained that it meant nature shows, biography, history, documentaries, NOVA or National Geographic.  No, Arthur does not count.  No, Phineas and Ferb does not count.  No, even Disney does not count.  Those types of television will be allowed on special occasions such as family movie night or when Big Sister is babysitting.

After the general revolt, they began to warm to my new rule.  For several days, when there was down time and it felt like like a good time for a show, they learned about volcano's, sharks, whales, and tornadoes.  They came to me excited about new information they had learned.  Besides having to train my youngest daughter that just because it wasn't animation didn't make it educational, I thought the educational mandate was a huge success . . .

. . . until one day when I discovered that five year old watching this:

It was a proud moment, to be sure.  I put a kibosh on it right away, "This is NOT educational!"

"Yes, it is, Mom!  They teach you good stuff!  They teach how to put on make-up, do little dances, make pretty clothes, fix your hair and all kinds of stuff!"  

What, oh, what, am I to do with this one?!


  1. Oh my goodness! I just laughed and laughed and am still laughing. Yay for little girls. We love your family.

    Good job on the TV restrictions. You are a good mom. I am often impressed by your children: their kindness and friendship to others and their siblings, their courage to go off into the world to follow dreams, their work ethics, their love of books, their creativity and ability to think outside the box, their confidence in who they are and Nathan raves about number four's drawing abilities from sitting next to you guys one Sunday. None of those things can be taught through TV. Good job, Mom.

  2. Oh that's funny! Kudos to her! My husband is doing a Masters of Nursing Education program right now and just finished a paper that talked about "informal" learning (such as tv) and that not all learning is good learning. This sure made me smile!